MiMi Aye’s Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry (Shwe Hpayone-thi Chet)

If you’ve read our full review of Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen (written by guest poster Nicky Bramley), you’ll already know that this book is stuffed full of tempting, achievable and delicious Burmese recipes such as Burmese Tofu Fritters, Pickled Tea Leaf Salad, Coconut Chicken Noodles, Mandalay Meeshay, Fragrant Cinnamon Chicken, Braised Butter Beans, and Shan Cauliflower & Carrot Pickle, to name just a few. Today, we are so happy to share with you MiMi Aye’s Golden Pumpkin Curry.

Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry from MiMi Aye's Mandalay

We’ve already shared MiMi’s recipe for Burmese Braised Beef Curry and Classic Burmese Pork Curry, so make sure you check those out too for more Burmese deliciousness.

Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry from MiMi Aye's Mandalay
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5 from 3 votes

Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry (Shwe Hpayone-thi Chet)

I’m one of those terrible carnivores and I strongly believe in the (semijoking) Burmese affliction of a-thar ma-sar yat-de yaw-ga i.e. ‘the illness caused by the failure to eat meat’. However, if this gorgeous pumpkin curry is on the table, for once I’ll barely twitch. You can use any winter squash you like – it’s very good made with kabocha squash or crown prince. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, you can swap out the shrimp paste and fish sauce for an equal amount of Japanese miso.
Servings 2 as a main, 4-6 as a side


  • 90 ml groundnut oil or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, green and white parts, shredded
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 butternut or kabocha squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika and curry leaves to the oil and allow to sizzle for a few seconds. 
  • Now turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, spring onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 10 minutes, until fragrant and the onions have wilted and some have crisped up.
  • Add the squash, sugar, shrimp paste and 300ml of water. Stir well. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add the fish sauce, stir again and serve with steamed rice.

Have you already seen our full review of Mandalay? What about our interview with author MiMi Aye.

Made the recipe? Let us know how you enjoyed it in the comments!

Browse our full collection of curry recipes from around the world.


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Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye is currently available on Amazon UK for £18.20 (RRP £26). Recipe and image published courtesy of publishers Bloomsbury Absolute. Photography by Cristian Barnett. 

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12 Comments to "MiMi Aye’s Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry (Shwe Hpayone-thi Chet)"

  1. Christina

    I have everything but the fish sauce (I think)! Would love to try this and would be a great way to use my butternut squash (I have 3 atm)!

  2. Chloe Edges

    This sounds amazing. And I know what you mean about there being the odd dish which doesn’t matter that it’s veggie. I haven’t tried making a Burnese curry before but I’ll add this to the list. The book is already on my Christmas list!

  3. kaveyeats

    I’ve been fortunate to enjoy MiMi’s food a number of times and yes, Burmese cuisine is fabulous!

  4. Ila Maran

    This is very similar to Chettinad pumpkin pulikari ( South Indian), I think it’s because Chettinad people had trade links to then Burma. We love this recipe.


    That makes sense! MiMi has told me before about the different influences of neighbouring countries on Burmese regional cuisine (and vice versa). She does a wonderful chicken and cinnamon curry that reminds me of a North Indian one my mum makes.

  5. Dolly

    This was lovely. I was thinking of trying this curry with coconut rice the next time I make this.
    Would you have any suggestions on preparing coconut rice?

    Also , do you have your mother’s chicken and cinnamon curry posted anywhere?..

    Thank you for a lovely blog


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